Coming Home! Central Texan Returns as Midway ISD’s Eighth Superintendent
In a unanimous 7-0 vote, the Midway Independent School District Board of Trustees named George Kazanas, Ed.D., as Midway ISD's eighth superintendent on April 26.
“The bar was set very high to be among the final candidates qualifying for interviews,” said Midway ISD Board of Trustees President Pete Rusek. “We received more than 30 qualified applicants, 20 of whom had doctorates, and most with more than 10 years of experience as a superintendent. We even had a few candidates vying from out of state. It came down to who stood out and the Board agreed that George Kazanas is definitely our guy.”
Dr. Kazanas comes to Midway from Wichita Falls Independent School District, but is well-known in the Waco area as the former superintendent of China Spring ISD. He also served in China Spring as an assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal and teacher. He is a graduate of West High School and taught in West as well. Dr. Kazanas’ higher education experience includes a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with Teacher Certification from Baylor University, a Master’s degree in Educational Administration, also from Baylor, Superintendent Academy postgraduate work from Lamar University and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Tarleton State University.
Dr. Kazanas has been superintendent of Wichita Falls Independent School District (WFISD) since 2009, leading a diverse district with 27 campuses, 1,900 employees and approximately 14,500 students (60% economically disadvantaged) with impressive accomplishments in many areas:
WFISD received its first Recognized accountability rating from the Texas Education Agency in 2010 under the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) student assessment program. Two high schools received the “Best High Schools in America” award from U.S. News and World Report for student participation and performance on Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams.
Dr. Kazanas promoted financial efficiency and developed cost-saving measures totaling $8.9 million in light of anticipated state budget cuts, while supervising the completion of a $68 million bond project.
Dr. Kazanas trained staff on the importance of customer service based on Fish! Philosophy and expanded parental involvement programs district-wide.
Dr. Kazanas completed an intensive 13-month board governance training through the Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS) and Reform Governance in Action (RGA) with Board of Trustees and created community education summits focused on development of an instructional vision for 21st century learning.
During his 15-year tenure at China Spring ISD (CSISD), Dr. Kazanas was named Region 12 Superintendent of the Year and led the fast-growing 3A district with high academic student performance and well-rounded successes:
Under the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) student assessment program, CSISD was rated Exemplary three years and Recognized six years. China Spring ISD was a 2006 state semi-finalist in H-E-B Excellence in Education Award Program.
CSISD was rated with Superior Achievement for six years by the Financial Integrity Rating System. While at CSISD, Dr. Kazanas successfully developed and received voter approval on two bond elections that totaled almost $30 million. He was also instrumental in the creation of China Spring ISD’s Education Foundation.
Dr. Kazanas created Response to Intervention teams resulting in reduction in number of students served through special education. He also initiated and supported vertical alignment and curriculum mapping processes, including the creation of "Portrait of a Graduate."
Dr. Kazanas’ professional affiliations include serving on the Region 9 Regional Advisory Committee, Texas Association of Mid-Size Schools, Central Texas Education Network (CTEN), Region 12 Advisory Committees, as an Executive Committee Member of the Texas Association of School Administrators, District 17-AAA Executive Committee, and serving as a Board Member of the McLennan County Challenge Academy’s Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program.
His community activities have included North Texas Area United Way, Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sheppard Military Affairs Committee, Wichita Falls ISD Education Foundation, Wichita Falls ISD Partners in Education, and the China Spring ISD Education Foundation.
George and his wife, Kim, have two boys. Jonathan, 15, will be a sophomore next school year, and Christopher, 12, will be a 7th grader. George and Kim met at Baylor and have been married 19 years.